I'd like to let you all in on what is my favorite food in the world and possibly the best buffalo wings in town.
The Jug Handle Inn, in Cinnamison, NJ, has long been known for its award-winning buffalo wings. Recent exposure on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and The View (where Joy Behar called the wings the best in the country) has thrust the bar into the national spotlight. My friends and I have been making the Jug Handle a regular fixture for eight years now, and I’ve never tried another wing that comes close. They’re big, fat, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Go too long without them, and I’ll start to suffer withdrawal symptoms. My sleep becomes restless, interrupted by haunting dreams of a world where the Jug Handle Inn has closed and my only option for chicken wings is the overbreaded and undersauced garbage they serve at Hooters. I’ll wake up, sweating and shaking, the faint smell of buffalo sauce lingering for a few brief moments before fading into nothingness.
They’re that good. I’d give them up for Lent but I know better than to make promises I can’t keep.
And so the ritual begins. I’ll call Steve, my Jug Handle partner-in-crime, and make the suggestion. And the answer is always yes. It would take an act of God for one of us to be free for lunch and voluntarily turn down Jug Handle wings. So we find a time between 3 and 6 pm when we can meet down there, because that’s happy hour, and wings are half price. Twenty Jug Handle wings for under $7 is practically theft. We arrive, grab a table, and each order 20 wings, medium sauce. Trust me. Their medium sauce is liquid heaven, but I do encourage you to try them all.
I like to take my time when they arrive. Take a moment to appreciate their glistening brownish-red beauty, let the sharp, vinegary sauce tingle my nostrils before gingerly picking up the first wing and knowing that for a few minutes, everything is alright. The universe is in complete harmony. Then there’s the first bite. Instant gratification. Feel the warmth, taste the chicken, appreciate the meal. This is the best there is. This is perfection.
I used to gluttonize myself and eat all 20 wings, but discovered that restraint pays dividends. Toss a few of these bad boys in the oven the next day, let them simmer a bit in the left over sauce, and these wings will take on a whole new dimension.
On my last visit, I talked for a few minutes with Nicole Stone, who purchased the restaurant April of last year with her husband Kevin. Luckily, they didn’t mess with the secret wing recipe. They knew better; it’d be like trying to fix the Mona Lisa. They are, however, making upgrades to the restaurant, with daily drink specials and weekly shot specials. They have live music every Friday, and before the month is up they’re going to open their outside gazebo, with a special menu and DJs and live bands every weekend. Who doesn’t love that combination?
If you’re near Cinnaminson, New Jersey (by Route 73) and haven’t stopped by the Jug Handle, do so immediately. If you’re from Philly, stop being lazy and cross the bridge. And don’t thank me. Thank the Jug.
See you there!
The Jughandle Inn
1018 S. Fork Landing Road
at Route 73
Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
Monday thru Thursday from 3pm-6pm and 10pm-1am we feature HALF PRICE WINGS!!!
Monday thru Friday from 3pm-6pm $2.00 PINTS of COORS LIGHT AND MILLER LITE $2.25 Yuengling Lager Pints